Tag Archives: New Year

Before You Hit the Gym in 2015


Avid gym members resent crowded environments come the New Year. They get frustrated that their favorite spot in Spinning class is taken by a newbie and that the free weight section is impossible to navigate without fear of tripping or getting a black eye from flying dumbbells as people enthusiastically show off their moves. Polite gym members hide their impatience because they know that this rapid influx of people will die down within about 4-6 weeks. Does this scene sound familiar?

This year, you won’t be one of those individuals who burns out or who asks for an abrupt time out from exercise come February or March.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie feigning familiarity with mysterious looking exercise equipment or a “seasoned pro” who freely offers fitness tips to friends because this year, you can each establish a successful gym routine. In this article, you will learn a few fundamentals that will help you plan your exercise schedule and see results! Not a bad deal, I must say! 

The two concepts we are going to discuss are traditionally applied to running. These concepts are easy to grasp and can apply to any exercise setting or schedule. The first is called the “10% Rule.” This rule states that one should only increase their exercise intensity by 10% week-to-week. For example, if a woman is running 10 miles total on Week One then she should only run 11 miles the next week. Simple math. Non-runners, I haven’t forgotten you!

There are plenty of ways to apply the 10% Rule to your workout routine. For example: Sarah enjoys working out on the elliptical 3x/week for 30 minutes and lifts weights 2x/week for 20 minutes. Her total exercise time is therefore 170 minutes. Sarah can apply the 10% Rule to see more results week-to-week. She may choose to increase one of several factors for Week Two: 1) the intensity of a cardio workout, 2) the amount of resistance during her weight training,  3) the time spent doing cardio, or 4) the time spent weight training. In scenario three and four, Sarah will either add 15-20 minutes to one of her current workouts or she may add an extra, short exercise session on another day of the week.


This gradual progression gives the body proper time for recovery, allowing it to become stronger and more resilient. It also ensures that you avoid burning out. A tough exercise routine can backfire. Big time. (Remember I mentioned the January gym mob? It lessens by February because many people hit the gym too hard. Their intensity wasn’t sustainable.) Exercising too hard and too quick can lead to injury or overtraining. A few symptoms of overtraining include increased resting heart rate, sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, change in appetite, decreased sex drive, and more. No fun. Lastly, the 10% Rule helps you PLAN. A haphazard exercise routine is better than none but most people will find they’re on their way to feeling great if they have a road map.

Quick Tip: Map out your exercise plan and put a copy of the schedule on your fridge. Keep a highlighter handy and color over the days you have completed. This will help you stay on track and will offer a visual for your progress. It’s a good idea to include rest days on the chart – give yourself credit for those too!

For those of you who are not currently in an exercise routine, no worries, I’ve got you covered. A general suggestion I like to give new clients is to try to commit to 2-3x/week for working out. I suggest allowing for at least one recovery day in between each exercise day. This is a great start and will ensure that your body can safely adapt. You will also feel GREAT once you’ve completed your workouts, proving to yourself that you can manage exercise after all. After a month of completing this routine then you can start to follow the 10% Rule.

For those of you who are already crazy about fitness, I will give you permission to err slightly from the 10% Rule; however, be wary. Sometimes being mentally stubborn and pushing your body to an unhealthy extreme can give you “negative results” – and that’s not what you want, is it?! I don’t want that for you either.


The second concept that many runners abide by is the “negative split” to improve their race times. This means that a runner intentionally runs the first half of a road race or training run at a slightly slower pace so that they have energy to shift gears and run fast for the second half. Think about it: the runner actually improves their time by running a little slower in the beginning. In a road race this is because of lactic acid and other limiting factors of the body’s energy systems. Applying this concept to a regular weekly exercise routine can also provide many benefits.

Not every workout in the beginning of a routine has to be slow or easy but in general, your body wants to build up to the hardest moves and the most intense stresses rather than start with them. For example, on Day One would you attempt to max out on shoulder press, do cardio for 3 hours, or take multiple new exercise classes back-to-back? I should think not! Although some unfortunate souls try anyways. In other words, take a deep breath and think wisely about how you approach your goals this new year. You need not hit a road bump. You need not doubt yourself.

Plan your routine. Prepare your body. Pace the journey.

(And ask me questions!)

Yours in health and wellness,


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A Message From Paris

We are on the verge of a new year and there is much to celebrate! Women from 36 countries have read the WellnessWinz blog since its launch just under 3 months ago – that’s incredible. Imagine the dialogue and awareness we can develop together in 2015! Before the new year begins I want to send a special, brief note from Paris.

…I walked across the famous “Love Lock Bridge” in Paris just a few days ago. The bridge, seen in the picture below, has thousands upon thousands of locks on it. The tradition is for sweethearts to display their love by placing a lock on the bridge. This is much like couples carving their initials into a tree. The bridge is so popular that it’s actually suffering physical damages due to the weight of the locks. Thus, I decided that it wouldn’t be right for me to place a lock on the bridge in honor of WellnessWinz. Instead, I’m sending this “love note” to my readers as a metaphorical lock and promise.

Love Lock Bridge

WellnessWinz will continue to post at least once a week for all of 2015. Even on busy and overwhelming weeks, I will find time. No matter what. Women’s wellness is too important to “put off until tomorrow” because a healthy woman takes on the world with an exuberant energy that is unparalleled.

As we enter a new year it’s also important to look back and remind ourselves of the lessons we’ve learned. Please enjoy perusing the Archives page for posts you want to read again or skipped posts that you still want to make time for. There is a little something for everyone and MUCH more to come!

Upcoming: The new year will kick off with a series of posts that will help you understand how to create and maintain a healthy exercise routine. Rest assured that this year you won’t burn out after a month of hitting the gym hard. I will be here to guide you through posts and to answer questions/emails. Please reach out to me about your personal goals or needs and I will help you more one-on-one (don’t worry this is my favor to you – no charge)! You don’t have to feel lost on your health journey – there is a roadmap we can create and follow together!

Navigate your year

I have no doubt you will be marvelous in 2015! Cheers to ringing in another year!

Yours in health and wellness,


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